This odd film strives for masterpiece status and winds up far from it, yet there is an indescribable charm about it. It starts as dully as could be; a Frenchwoman named Madeline, played by Leslie Caron, arrives in New York in search of Thevenet (Louis Calhern), grandfather of her fiance, who needs help in France with his political revolution. She finds him, and he tells her that no, he won't give her any money, and follows the rejection with a series of pompous, drunken observations and jests. Yawn. We are introduced to his help, headed by Lorna (Barbara Stanwyck), a woman with something decidedly evil on her mind, though Thevenet doesn't pretend to not know this and she doesn't pretend to hide it: she, along with the other housekeepers, wants him dead- so long as they are in the will. Once we have established that everyone wants the money, we are introduced to the only character in the film who is indifferent to it; he is a traveling writer named Dupin, played by the great Joseph Cotten, though this is quite probably the worst I've ever seen him. Dupin doesn't hunger for money, though he has no problem taking handouts from the local saloon, as he is a heavy alcoholic. When Dupin meets Madeline he decides to help her, though it is unclear throughout whether he is aiding her because of her sweet naivety or because he is trying to convince himself of his own importance. Or maybe it is something else entirely- a longing for attention, a spotlight. When Dupin enters the story fully the film picks up, and eventually turns into something uite entertaining, if trashy. It has a magnificent twist ending which caught me quite off guard. In better hands, this may have been something almost special; Fletcher Markle isn't much of a director, and the similarities in the disappointing performances by Cotten and Stanwyck (two eccentric actors toned down to the point of robotic monotony) leads me to believe that Markle takes full responsibility in the final product.